This week we are proud to welcome as a new member the Last Organic Outpost.
A refrigeration mechanic with a passion for cultivating the earth, Joe Icet founded the Last Organic Outpost to help meet the pressing need for nutritious food that many Houstonians face each day. The mission of this pioneering group is to promote healthy lifestyles by establishing a local-food economy in Houston’s underserved communities through urban farming, as well as farm-based art and education. Joe retired in 2013, and now devotes all his time to the movement.
The Last Organic Outpost teaches residents of these communities to produce safe, healthy, and accessible food for all, using sustainable methods of agriculture. Its current focus is Houston’s Fifth Ward, where the Outpost’s main program, the Emile Street Community Farm, is located.
From this base of operations, the group is seeking to transform the neglected Fifth Ward food desert through three initiatives: outreach, farming, and education. Its goal is the launching of a “Food Everywhere” movement through the creation of home gardens as well as a mega-orchard of fruit and nut trees that encompass entire neighborhoods, winding across residential yards and public spaces alike.
Through its farming initiative, the Outpost seeks to create a local-food economy by training farmers in nonconventional, sustainable, environmentally sound methods; encourage the flourishing of farms and local-food-related businesses in the Fifth Ward; and eventually establish community farms throughout the city.
The Outpost’s ultimate goal is to establish an Urban Agriculture District that will help produce our region’s food and enable local farmers to thrive despite economic, environmental, health, and social challenges.
The focus of the Outpost’s education initiative is to host community events to teach residents about nutrition, urban agriculture, and sustainability. The farm has a stage and holds frequent music and speaking events.
Many volunteer opportunities are available with the Outpost, including working at the farm, helping to organize outreach and plan projects, writing grants, managing the group’s Web site, developing software, publicizing the group’s work, and conducting research.
For more information about the Last Organic Outpost, and to attend the group’s meetings, e-mail [email protected]. Be sure to visit the Farm on facebook for news and events, as they spring up all the time!